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DMV Rules for Owning a Vehicle in the US

Growing up in the US has taught you one thing – without an automobile it is practically impossible to move around freely. Being able to drive your vehicle is also crucial. It gives you immense freedom to move across the country, save time and makes life more convenient. Even though it requires a one time investment, owning a car in the long run it saves lot of your money. However, there are certain DMV rules for owning a car which you need to follow. With little variations, the DMV rules are more or less same either in Florida, or in New York.

Possession of a car implies that you have the car registered under your name. Before you purchase any vehicle, four-wheeler or a two-wheeler, an ATV or boat insurance, make sure you are given an acceptable proof of ownership in case you have trouble getting your vehicle registered, get a title certificate, or transferable registration in your name.

A title certificate from any state and a bill of sale comprises the proof of ownership. The transfer section of the proof of ownership must be signed by the person whose name appears on the proof of ownership. If you have purchased a new car, the proof of ownership comprises the Manufacturer’s Certificate of Origin (MCO) or the Manufacturer’s Statement of Origin (MSO) and form MV-50 (Dealer’s Bill of Sale).

If you purchase a used vehicle you will need the title certificate signed by the previous owner validating the transfer of the ownership to the dealer and a form MV-50 signed by the dealer to transfer ownership to you.

In case of an out-of-state transaction, a different bill of sale form is used by the dealers.

A DMV-licensed automobile dealer also has to possess acceptable proof of ownership for a vehicle before they can sell that vehicle to you. In New York and many other US states the automobile dealer will himself send the application for your vehicle registration and title certificate to the DMV on your behalf, usually for about $20.

On the title certificate, your name as buyer should appear. Beware of such fraudulent activities as any alteration or changes in any information.

Sometimes you are in a dilemma whether to buy a new car or a used car. A new car means minimum maintenance, but it is also more expensive. Again buying a used car would mean that you might need to pay more on maintenance. If you have plans to change your car soon and you don’t have enough financial resources at the moment to comfortably invest on a new one, then it is advisable for you to purchase a used car. But if you are making a long time investment then opt for a new one.

If you decide to buy a used car then the next big question is from whom to buy the car. You can directly buy from the owner which saves you lot of money. You can also buy from a reputed dealer. Buying from a dealer may be expensive, but it is much safer too.

Knowing the DMV Rules for owning and buying a vehicle can make your purchase decision easier.

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